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Meditations: A Collaborative Project

Collaborative project organized by Anika Smulovitz

  1. Meditation Beads (1)
    by Anika Smulovitz
    Charcoal, steel, patinated copper, 18k gold, sterling silver

    Anika Smulovitz, professor, anikasmulovitz.com

    Creating artwork during the COVID19 Pandemic has been scattered with so many new demands on our time with work and family. With physical distancing a necessity to navigating our current reality, collaboration to move forward with hope and healing feels essential. The first strand of meditation beads has thirteen charcoal beads held together with steel wire with gold dandelion seeds inside the beads that only reveal their existence after the charcoal has been used. The process of working with the Meditation Beads leaves both a visible physical and an emotional mental record of the interaction on the makers. This strand of beads will continue to be passed from artist to artist, as we continue to meditate, pray, worry, and heal. It is my hope that through these objects, this project will bring people and communities together in a meaningful way. I envision this as a large project with many artists joining together to create one collective collaborative work.

  2. Bleach, Light, gold, dust
    by Erin Cunningham
    Meditation Beads, charcoal powder, ethyl alcohol (as hand sanitizer) on gray toned paper treated with bleach

    Erin Cunningham, instructor, erincunningham.net

    As children, and sometimes as adults, we can’t help ourselves but propel dandelion seeds to become parachutes by releasing them from the stem with our breath. They bend and release, first sailing in formation, then becoming more random and wild as the seeds catch the wind. Perhaps this is something we take for granted, being able to exhale and to inadvertently propel these seeds to distant lawns to the annoyance of our neighbors. The seeds could take root and take over in a way that might be similar to a disease in the lungs. Of course, they are nothing like that really, instead they are a visual delight and a minor nuisance to the people that care about lawns. I breathe to center and calm myself and keep myself from getting carried away on a gale of anxiety. I often worry about how it would feel to lose the capacity to fill my lungs entirely with air and to exhale slowly, with control, over the crown of a dandelion stem.

  3. Paper Boat – A Meditation
    by April VanDeGrift
    Charcoal on paper

    April VanDeGrift, instructor, aprilvandegrift.com

    With thoughts of childhood innocence in mind, I drew a paper boat. The charcoal of the meditation beads marked the surface of the paper in unexpected and surprising ways like the seeds of a dandelion blowing in the wind, impossible to control. I thought about my children’s experiences growing up during a pandemic and about a paper boat sailing in a stream, unable to control where it lands or if it sinks and the importance of letting go of expectations of my children’s memories, or how their todays will shape their tomorrows.